Former Liverpool and Tottenham star Christian Ziege has emerged as one of over 50 applicants for the vacant Adelaide United coaching job.
By
Dave Lewis

15 May 2017 - 11:21 PM  UPDATED 15 May 2017 - 11:21 PM

The one-time interim coach at Bundesliga Borussia Monchengladbach walked away from the chance of becoming the club's full-time mentor to broaden his football education elsewhere.

And the 72-cap ex-German international sees the A-League, and Adelaide in particular, as a potential next step on a coaching journey he hopes will ultimately lead back to the Bundesliga.

While Reds director of football Ante Kovacevic said he had not yet seen  the 45 year old's resume, he confirmed that the club had been inundated with applicants.

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And with top choice Gabriel Batistuta unlikely to bite on the offer of becoming Guillermo Amor's successor, Kovacevic said hopefuls had emerged from Asia, Europe and South America, with an overseas appointment most likely.

"The CVs are coming in thick and fast and it's a matter of whittling it down to find the right one, and it's sometimes not that easy," he said.

"There are well over 50 so far ... making an appointment is a matter of urgency and we'd like to have it done by the end of the month.

"But we have to make sure it's the right person, so you can't rush things also.

"It's a tough one, we have spoken to some serious coaches out there but it's difficult to get them to come to Australia.

"We want someone to come here who is still ambitious, no matter what their age, because the A-League is a serious competition."

Having parted company with third tier Spanish club Atletico Baleares this month, Ziege - who also coached Germany's under-18 and under-19s during between 2011-2014 - is keen to help Adelaide rebuild, with the accent on youth.

Ziege's agent, Phillip Grothe, told the World Game: "He's very keen to come to Australia and experience a new culture.

"It's our understanding that some of the A-League clubs are looking at German coaches, and Christian is very interested in coming to a club like Adelaide.

"For him, it could be a great opportunity and possibly a stepping stone back to the Bundesliga, where he already has some experience with Gladbach."

Ziege, who also played for Bayern Munich, AC Milan and Middlesbrough, had a brief spell as director of football at Gladbach before becoming interim head coach at the club he starred for as a player.

He rebuilt the club after the defection of eight players to lead them back to the top division in 2008, but turned down the chance to take the baton permanently.

"He has great experience as a player but as a coach he is smart and has a huge concept at developing young players," added Grothe.

"He's not one of these guys who's looking for millions to spend and he is used to working with limited resources and getting the best out of them.

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"Nor is his one of those guys standing on a stage telling the world how cool he is."

Ziege also had spells in charge of German clubs Arminia Bielefeld and Unterhaching.

Kovacevic, meanwhile, insisted the club had not yet given up hope of attracting Argentina great Batistuta.

"While the coaching position is still there, there is still a chance," he said.